Digital in Singapore: Internet Users Spend a Third of Their Lives Online

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Singapore’s internet users spend on average 8 hours and 7 minutes a day online – just over a third of their lives – according to Digital 2021: Singapore, a report released by socially led creative agency We Are Social and Hootsuite, the global leader in social media management.

Digital 2021: Singapore, a comprehensive report covering digital, social and mobile use in Singapore, shows that the country’s internet usage is significantly above the global average of 6 hours and 4 minutes online each day.

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During 2020, the number of active social media users rose by 4% to nearly 5 million. Internet users devote on average 2 hours and 17 minutes to social media a day with the report showing YouTube, WhatsApp and Facebook to be the most popular social platforms. Snapchat had a particularly strong end to the year with parent company Snap’s tools showing a 43% increase in its quarter-on-quarter advertising reach, representing an extra 240,000 users.

Other key findings in Digital 2021: Singapore include: 

  • The pandemic has impacted mobile users app interests: livestreaming app Bigo Live, amid the restrictions on live events, was the biggest mobile app in terms of consumer spend in 2020, while Zoom was the most downloaded app overall

  • Older internet users are very likely to shop online but to a lesser degree than their younger counterparts: 71% of internet users aged 55-64 have made an online purchase in the past month, compared with 83% of 25- to 34-year-olds

  • Ecommerce spend on travel and accommodation plummeted by 47% in 2020, but every other category in the report saw a marked increase in sales, including a 37% rise in the food & personal care category and 40% more being spent on digital music. Across the board there was a year-on-year rise of 32% in the value of the ecommerce consumer good market

  • There was an 8% increase in social ad media spend during 2020, compared with a 4% increase in digital ad spend across the board. The report found that 43% of internet users aged 16-64, a relatively high number, carry out research into brands using social media – just about on par with those who consult online consumer reviews

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Christina Chong, managing director, We Are Social Singapore said: “Even though the lockdown situation in Singapore was shorter than many countries, this report shows how much of an impact they’ve had on our lives, our digital use and the way we socialise and shop, among many other things. With internet users spending around a third of their lives online, it’s never been more important for marketers to understand online and social media cultures in order to reach people – of all age groups – in a relevant way.”

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